Sunday, July 22, 2012

~snail racing~

Two snails were racing as the tide went out the other day.
According to The Week-End Book, snails travel at 1.916 feet per hour. Does this figure reflect the speed of snails at leisure? Or an average of sauntering snails and snail athletes? Because these two contestants here appeared to be hustling.
I don't know if they made it to the water before the tide went all the way out. Maybe you'd have to calculate the rate that the tide was going out, and this might involve calculating the slope of the beach, and I'm more content to have born witness to the moment that these snails and I shared. Even if I don't know the outcome. Life is uncertain, after all.
Sand forms. This is part of the Waldorf curriculum: making amazing beautiful free-hand forms, sometimes mirrored, or not, and the idea is that you don't lift your crayon (or stone, in this case) once you have begun the form. You are committed. Being there in the moment helps, trusting your hand and eyes to work together. I asked Sylvan to make me one to copy and this was what he made.

Some of our party balanced stones as per usual. Though the Stillmans were notably absent on this day, it was really otherwise perfect. (We felt you with us in spirit! Note to S: The water was actually delightfully swimmable, really pleasant even, and not at all ankle-numbing.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

::the summer of::

wasn't on purpose, 
just ended up with a loadful of Common Ground Fair Volunteer tee shirts
(because the cool kids volunteer)
Green smoothies, are my new favorite summer breakfast. And let me say that my idea of a green smoothie is maybe different than other ones, my concept is that it can't be OVERLY green-tasting! Or else: blech, I won't drink it. Which gives me zero health benefits. I use my Cuisenart because I do not have a Vitamix. Here is the rough guide for a recipe:

Pineapple-Kale-Chia-Mint Smoothie

2 T. chia seeds, presoaked for 5 minutes or however long it takes you to do the rest of the ingredients-gathering
2 cups fresh, RIPE pineapple, in chunks
Some (1-2 handfuls) baby kale leaves (chard is good too), de-stemmed and torn
Fresh mint leaves (I like it minty, so I am generous here)
1 cup or so fresh coconut water that you made yourself (below)
Maybe a splash of almond milk
Ice if you can stand the clunking noise your Cuisenart makes when it chops it

Put it all in the Cuisenart, including the soaked chia, then give it a few good pulses. Delish!

Coconut Water
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 cups warm water

Mix together in a bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Then strain the coconut meat out. Voila, your own coconut water, a raw food! Store it in a jar in your fridge and use for smoothies when you like.

This was a strange adventure in culinary practice that we were inspired to try by a friend who has a yummy vegan food blog: GRILLED WATERMELON. Well, it was too weird not to try it! And I liked it, especially the yummy limey-spicy dressing. The leftover dressing could have made an awesome addition to my bubbly water, but someone had dumped it before I could get my hands on it!!! It was a fun addition to our non-vegan burgers on the grill and I would like to try it with a minty-limey-spicy dressing next time. (OK, I'm crazy about mint!) Read WhollyEats' blog entry here.

It's the summer of learning to roller skate. I am learning to be a roller derby referee for our local team, the Rock Coast Rollers! Learning to skate is a big one for me about conquering fears: of things that are new and things that are physical. There are lots of rules, people, and reading them is one thing, and then learning to SEE them in real-time is another thing. I am learning a new, visual, very physical language.
It is not. like. the. roller. derby. you. saw. on. TV. The analogy is televised dramatized fake wrestling is to actual skilled athletic wrestling. Same thing for derby. These athletes are all ages and shapes and it's an actual sport, with strategy (and lots of rules); it's not about beating people up on roller skates. Practices are all about drills, skills, and sweaty bodies, like any other sport. Have you let go of your previous associations yet?
One night a week, Sylvan is allowed to come to practice with me. He is, of course, brilliant. Which makes me proud and sometimes a little bit jealous, because it is just so effortless for him, so graceful, intuitive, and fearless (without being reckless). 
Here are his new 10th birthday wheels! Brand new Atom TrakAtak wheels for a boy who likes speed. The amazing owner of Turn Two Skate Shop in Portland researched wheels that would be right for his smaller sized skates and the wheels arrived in record time. We stuffed ourselves with birthday dinner and cake and ice cream, but then we just had to go to practice last night to try those puppies out. He's getting the feel for them, and the feel is very different from his old ones, so he took a couple of exploratory spills.

Just look at him, running on his toe stops like a pro.

There's that handsome boy, whose roller derby name is SylvInsanity, on his birthday:

Leaping through the air and life, as always...

The bluebirds are back! They were here ten years ago when we first moved here, tapping on the windows on the morning of Sylvan's birth.
Now they are nesting in the box on the end of my clothesline, overlooking our garden. The papa bird is not thrilled when I hang out the laundry, so he swoops around, and I just keep assuring him that we are so happy his family is here but also that hanging the laundry and weeding the garden are part of the rental agreement.